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ABOUT THE TALK
Lee Su Kim will share her experiences writing a trilogy of stories of the Peranakans, focusing on her latest work. After Kebaya Tales and Sarong Secrets, comes Manek Mischiefs, a rich, gutsy collection of short stories immersing the reader into the flamboyant, vibrant and colourful world of the Babas and Nyonyas. The babas take centre stage this time, masculine perspectives are put under the spotlight as themes of family intrigues and rivalries, loss of great fortunes, bedroom scandals, long lost love, identity issues and family relationships are explored.
Lee Su Kim, a sixth generation nyonya, will talk about the babas and their stories from an insider’s perspective and her cultural heritage facing the challenges of modern times. She will discuss the joys and pitfalls writing about a multi-layered, hybrid culture with Chinese, Southeast Asian and European influences. She will share pictures of exquisite beadwork and embroidery items ( manek) and personal belongings of the babas, many of which are featured in the book. The session ends with a reading by the author of one of her favourite stories.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr.Lee Su Kim has published eleven books of fiction and non-fiction. Her debut collection of the life-stories of the Peranakans, Kebaya Tales: Of Matriarchs, Maidens, Mistresses and Matchmakers won First prize in the Popular-Star Readers’ Choice Awards 2011(Fiction). She published another collection, Sarong Secrets: Of Love, Loss and Longing in 2013.
Her earlier work, Malaysian Flavours: Insights into Things Malaysian and Manglish: Malaysian English at its Wackiest are bestsellers. She also wrote on the hilarious crosscultural encounters between east and west in A Nyonya In Texas: Insights of a Straits Chinese Woman in the Lone Star State.
Su Kim was Associate Professor of English language studies at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia where she lectured and published widely on language, culture and identity. She is the chief editor of ‘Border Crossings : Moving between Languages and Cultural Frameworks’.
An invited speaker at both the Ubud and Singapore Writers Festival, she has given talks and presentations in the US, UK, Australia and Asia. Su Kim is also a cultural activist and is the Founding President of the Peranakan Baba Nyonya Association of Kuala Lumpur & Selangor. She enjoys and shares cultural complexity beyond cuisine and sarong kebaya and is a frequent presenter of the rich diversity of being nyonya. She is now a fulltime writer, educationist and language consultant.
Colours of Asia
‘Colours of Asia’ was the first in a series of studies to examine the idea of ‘Asian-ness’ in the broad field of design—a particular way of thinking and doing, its cultural and spiritual affinities, profound philosophical and aesthetic concepts—that can give multiple meanings and depth to contemporary design.
The research on colours covered 13 Asian countries/regions, exploring significant dimensions of culture such as beliefs and rites of passage that define society, design and the built environment, crafts, food, language and literature, traversing from a rich cultural past to an equally relevant and exciting present day.
‘Colours of Asia’ was a project undertaken by The Design Alliance Asia in collaboration with Hong Kong Design Institute and Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Lee Wei Lee), with generous funding from CreateHK, Hong Kong SAR Government.
‘Colours of Asia’ comprised an exhibition, student workshops, forum, seminar, research papers and a publication. It was presented during Hong Kong Year of Design 2012 and in 2014 won the prestigious Special Award for Culture at the Design for Asia Awards in Hong Kong.
Curators: Prof. Ahn Sang-soo (South Korea) and William Harald-Wong (Malaysia)
Research team for Malaysia: Ezrena Marwan, Suzy Sulaiman and William Harald-Wong
About the Speaker
William Harald-Wong is an urban identity designer, working at the intersection of brand, culture, city and community. William is also the Founder and Chairman of The Design Alliance Asia (tDA Asia), a collaborative network of prominent designers in 13 Asian countries / regions.
He won in the prestigious Design for Asia Awards in Hong Kong twice in a row—2015 Grand Award Finalist and Gold for Museum Sultan Abu Bakar (Malaysia) and 2014 Special Award for Culture for ‘Colours of Asia’.
He was awarded the International Design Achievement Award, China (2010), the Lifetime Achievement Award by DDEC Malaysia (2011), Designomics Leadership Award, India (2012), and Distinguished Chinese Award by Chinese Who’s Who Society, China (2013).
William served as Vice-President of Icograda from 2001 to 2013 and co-founded wREGA, the Graphic Design Association of Malaysia.
Turtle Tales: Talk & Exhibition at Badan Warisan Malaysia is in conjunction with World Turtle Day! The exhibition will be on going for 1 month from 13 May to 13 June 2017 whereas the talk will be on 21 May 2017.
About the Exhibition
This month long exhibition features paintings and drawings from the book ‘ I love Sea Turtles’, a collaboration between sisters Yi Xuan, 15, the writer of the book and Yu Jing, 11, the illustrator of the book.
The paintings and book were created after the sister’s witnessed the sea turtles laying eggs, which then ignited the sister’s passion and dedication in helping to save these sea creatures. The sisters will be at Badan Warisan Malaysia on 21 May to share their experiences and talk about their adventure and future projects.
About the Talk
The talk will take place on 21 May 2017, given by the Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia. The talk will feature a presentation of the different species of sea turtles found in Malaysia, their conservation status, feeding habits and threats that they face.
Audiences will also get to know TCS, their objectives, the research, conservation, education and awareness programmes that have been conduct.
The talk will also focus on the two critically endangered species of fresh water turtles in Malaysia that TCS is focused on.
The talk focuses on how architecture can contribute towards the creation of an ‘imagined community’ called ‘Malaysian’ through a discourse of multiculturalism and democracy as the main reference points of design. Historically, the call for a national architectural identity was received with great interest by Malay architects who produced many traditional revivalist buildings and also by non-Malay architects with emphasis on climate and local materials. Neither of the two extremes had taken multi-culturalism and democracy into their design approaches and discourses. What we find are either simplistically interpreted post-modern attempts and at the other extreme we find literalist modernism products with a number of architects engaging in regionalism using climate and material in a more daring manner.
Although the regionalist in Malaysia has a better edge in terms of a more creative and meaningful design, their approach would be most inspiring if the aspects of multi-culturalism and democracy were integrated. Many architects either seemed too frightened of political backlash or they are uncertain how these two aspects can be used in architecture. I will concentrate on these two aspects of multi-culturalism and democracy in my criticism of housing, mosques and administrative buildings in Malaysia by reinterpreting the rituals and values within a more inclusive view of politics and society and the early modernist framework of design.
About the Speaker
Professor Dr Mohamad Tajuddin Mohamad Rasdi is a prolific writer in architecture, politics, social issues, religious matters and education. Prof Dr. Mohamad Tajuddin was educated in the USA at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee where he obtained his Masters and Bachelor of Science in Architecture.
He was Professor of Architecture at UTM for 10 years and now at UCSI University. Professor Tajuddin has authored and published 40 books to date on architecture concerning Islam, the mosque, housing, community building and planning of administrative centres. He was a columnist for several years with the Utusan Malaysia and with The Star. Prof Tajuddin is also responsible for writing hundreds of articles in architecture for the encyclopedia of architecture published by the national publication.
He has written many articles in the media concerning various issues of architecture, democracy, multi-culturalism and education. He is also frequently interviewed by online media news like malaysiakini and Freemalaysiatoday on national political and social issues.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
I was invited by YAM Tunku Zain Al-‘Abidin who is Chairman of the Council of Advisors of Asian Heritage Museum Sdn Bhd (AHM) to visit Carcosa Seri Negara on Friday last week (31 March 2017).
I was glad to see that apart from an air of neglect – because the buildings have been left vacant for the past few few years – overall both Carcosa and Seri Negara were in relatively fair condition. Without doubt there is cleaning and repair works which need to be carried out to bring these buildings back into excellent working order in keeping with their standing and status as gazetted National Heritage.
Where this may involve any change in use, repairs or new accretions on the site, it is crucial that the guidelines and conditions set by the owner and regulatory authorities must be rigorously complied and to ensure that the integrity and heritage values of the property are maintained.
As an organisation which has been involved in promoting heritage conservation for the past 35 years, Badan Warisan Malaysia stands ready to help in any way we can to ensure the protection and rehabilitation of this national heritage asset. It is imperative to retain and enhance the heritage significance of the property and its setting, so that it can be visited and enjoyed by all, both Malaysians and others, not only as a memorial of the history of Malaya but in a way which also generates values to today’s society.
President, Badan Warisan Malaysia
Statement from Elizabeth Cardosa, President, Badan Warisan Malaysia
It is the responsibility of building owners to ensure the maintenance, management and care of their properties so they are in good condition, safe, comfortable to use and habitable.
We have many laws and guidelines which regulate this and there are penalties which can be imposed if uninhabited buildings are left to ruin, potentially raising concerns of public safety.
In the case of buildings such as the former FMS Survey Office which has been gazetted as “heritage” on the National Heritage Register, there may be additional regulations which are imposed by Jabatan Warisan Negara who are custodians of this Register.
Section 42 of the National Heritage Act 2005 states that it is the duty of the owner of a heritage site to keep it in a state of good repair and that the National Heritage Commissioner can take steps to ensure that this is complied to, and in keeping with the heritage values of the building.
While we may want to know who is responsible, or how this sad state of affairs has come about, it is more pressing to have an urgent action plan to bring the relevant parties together to stop further deterioration and put the building back in good repair. It would be timely for the responsible authorities to work with heritage NGOs and other stakeholders to initiate a management regime to prevent this from happening to other heritage buildings, especially public/government owned buildings.